The baseball Hall of Fame voting results for 2020 continues to be surprising. The ballot has been out for a little while now and more writers are revealing who they are supporting for induction this year.
The biggest name on the ballot for the first time is former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. We previously reported how one writer made it public that he would only support Jeter this year.
Another writer has revealed his ballot, basically stating that players he has voted for in the past no longer deserve to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s an odd revelation.
Anthony Rieber is a Newsday New York writer and someone who has seen a lot of games played by Derek Jeter. It’s not surprising that he would give Jeter his full support, but it’s shocking that other players lost that support.
Last year, he also voted for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, and Omar Vizquel. All of those players are still on the ballot, but Rieber has stated he isn’t voting for them.
With 11 ballots made public so far (they aren’t due until the end of December), every writer has voted for Derek Jeter. If these were the only ballots to be counted, that would be the only player to be inducted from the ballot.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling have appeared on eight ballots (72.7 percent), putting them just below the threshold needed of 75 percent. Three BBWAA members who didn’t vote for Schilling last year decided to support him on their ballots this year.
We are 119 days away from Yankees Opening Day! Derek Jeter scored 119 runs in the 2000 season! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Hope you have a great day with your families! #yankees #openingday #derekjeter pic.twitter.com/AbRwtBENI4
— Yankees Opening Day Countdown (@yanksopeningday) November 28, 2019
The Derek Jeter conundrum
Some members of the BBWAA have admitted in the past that they have used their ballots to manipulate the overall results. The reasons have varied.
Some have felt that only the best of the best should be elected on a first ballot, some people have stated that nobody should be unanimous since Babe Ruth wasn’t, and others have stated that they didn’t vote for someone with a lot of support so that they could use their votes to keep other people on the ballot.
So what is going on with Derek Jeter? His success at the plate and in the postseason make him very worthy of making it to Cooperstown. That’s not even a point worth debating, especially with some of the counting stats he accrued over his career.
At the same time, why would Jeter deserve to be elected on a ballot all to himself? He isn’t the best hitter, the best fielder, or the best pitcher on the ballot. This is where a PED argument might come up, which is valid, but why would a voter support Bonds and Clemens only to suddenly stop. What’s going on here?
Top five rWAR totals among position players on the HOF ballot:
1. Barry Bonds (162.8)
2. Larry Walker (72.7)
3. Derek Jeter (72.4)
4. Scott Rolen (70.2)
5. Manny Ramírez (69.4)
Walker played in 314 fewer games than Ramírez and *checks notes* 759 fewer than Jeter.#WalkerHOF
— Austin J. Eich (@Eich_AJ) December 2, 2019
As more ballots are made public and the Hall of Fame voting results for 2020 really start to take shape, it will be interesting to see if more ballots are used by members of the BBWAA to manipulate this induction.